Hawaii 6-Day Itinerary (Big Island, Maui, and Lanai)

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Hawaii is the perfect destination for a relaxing yet adventurous trip. The island offers the perfect balance between serenity and exciting experiences.

It boasts world-class beaches, stunning greenery, scenic roadsides, and active volcanoes.

Therefore, to enjoy everything the island has to offer, this Hawaii 6-day itinerary will come in handy.

Hawaii 6-Day Itinerary

Hawaii is a big island with so many amazing places to visit.

Guide Hawaii 6-day itinerary
Planning Hawaii 6-day itinerary

For starters, it is divided into 8 islands, all of which have a lot to offer. Deciding where to go can be quite a task.

This itinerary will guide you on which places to visit for the optimum experience.

We have narrowed down the 3 Hawaiian Islands where you are bound to have the best time.

So you will know exactly where to go on each of the days:

  • DAY 1-3: Big Island/Hawaii
  • Day 4-5: Maui
  • Day 6: Lanai

Also, Hawaii is quite expensive.

So, you want to do it right and make it worth your money.

Furthermore, planning makes the trip easier and more fun. This is why you need this itinerary.

Day 1-3: Big Island/ Hawaii

As the name suggests, Big Island is the biggest island in Hawaii. In fact, it is twice the size of all the other islands combined.

Enjoying Hawaii sunset
Hawaii sunset

As such, it is the best place to start your trip as it has pretty much everything you would be looking for: gorgeous beaches, museums, historical sites, coffee farms, and active volcanoes.

You will spend three days here.

How to Get to Big Island

Land at the Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the Eastern coast of the island.

You will depart the island from the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport (KOA) in Western Big Island, where you will spend your last day.

Where to Stay

@booking Royal Kona Resort
@booking Royal Kona Resort


Budget Friendly:

Day 1

On your first day on the Big Island, you will learn, enjoy roadside sceneries, and have a relaxing evening snorkeling and swimming with sea animals.

So, buckle up!

Visit the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden

Start your day the right way by getting in touch with nature early in the morning.

Take a nice stroll in the Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden located just by the Hamakua Coast.

Hamakua coast on the Big Island
Hamakua coast

Walk around soaking in the morning air through the lush gardens while you enjoy the sound of waterfalls and the meticulous view of the Pacific.

Boasting more than 1800 species of tropical plants, you will feel refreshed for the rest of the day.

Drive the Hamakua Coast

Hamakua coast is a gorgeous spot on the Big Island.

During the drive, you will enjoy scenic views, such as lush mountains overlooking the sea, waterfalls, and botanic gardens.

You will pass by Honoka’a town, which is such a sight to behold! Start your drive at Hilo towards Waipio Valley for the best views.

Visit the Mauna Kea Observatory

After your drive, you will want to relax, and there’s no better way than to gaze at the stars at the Mauna Kea Observatory.

Sitting at 13,796 feet above sea level, you will get a perfect night sky view.

If you are interested in astronomy, take a guided tour and learn about telescopes and what is currently happening in the world of astronomy.

Heads Up! Due to the altitude, people with health conditions such as respiratory or cardiac problems should be cleared by their doctors first.

Go Night Snorkeling and Dive with Manta Rays

Before you retire for the day, you ought to take part in an unforgettable experience that you won’t find on the other islands.

Snorkeling at night and swimming with giant sea animals is the optimum adventure.

While they are big, Manta Rays are very gentle and friendly. So, do not panic when one rolls past you just a few inches away.

Day 2

Prepare yourself for an adventurous day filled with energizing and adrenaline-inducing activities.

Ensure you have a healthy breakfast, as you will need all the stamina you can get.

Check out Rainbow Falls

This picturesque waterfall that flows from the Waikulu River is quite a sight to behold. Standing at 80 feet high, it is undoubtedly the first thing you want to see in the morning.

Rainbow Falls Hawaii aerial view
Rainbow Falls Hawaii

This is especially because when the morning sun hits the mist, a beautiful rainbow forms, hence its name.

If the temperatures allow and the water level is low, you can swim at the base of the falls. Still, it is advisable to be cautious.

Visit the Volcanoes National Park

Take on an energetic activity by hiking the famous Volcanoes National Park.

A UNESCO world heritage site, this park is home to two of the world’s active volcanoes – Kilauea and Mauna Loa.

While here, make a point of exploring the Thurston Lava Tube, a cave that was formed by lava flow years ago.

Hiking or biking next to steam vents is the ultimate experience that you can’t afford to miss. Thus, Volcanoes National Park is a must-visit destination.

Go ziplining at Umauma Falls

For the adrenaline-inducing activity of the day, head over to the Umauma Falls, 16 miles North of Hilo.

Equipped with 9 lines, you will have fun ziplining at Umauma Falls as you enjoy the beautiful scenery below you.

What to Expect? There is a view of a river, suspension bridges, and waterfalls to take in. After ziplining, you can opt to go kayaking in the river.

Whale Watching

If you visit the island between December and April, you will be lucky enough to catch the humpback whales on the Hamakua Coast.

Whale watching Hawaii
Whale watching

This is when the whales migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to mate and give birth because the water is warmer in Hawaii.

You can relax on the beach and enjoy the sight as you sip on juice.

Day 3

Make the most of your last day on the Big Island by visiting historical sites and later relaxing on the beach.

Sample Coffee at Kona

If you are a coffee lover, it would be criminal to leave The Big Island without sampling the coffee at Kona.

Kona Hawaii
Visit Kona

There are many coffee farms here, like Greenwell Farms and Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation.

Take a tour and learn the history of the farms, coffee cultivation, and its processing.

The best part is that you get to sample fresh cups of coffee and may even take home high-quality arabica coffee.

Visit the Pu’uhonua O Honauanau National Historical Park

Located on the South Kona coast, the Pu’uhonua O Honauanau National Historical Park holds a lot of history about the Island.

It is a spiritual sanctuary where Hawaiian offenders who had been sentenced to death would come to seek refuge.

visit Pu’uhonua O Honauanau National Historical Park
Pu’uhonua O Honauanau National Historical Park

Here, a priest would absolve them of their sins and spare their lives. The self-guided 0.5-mile train is as refreshing as it is educational.

Beach Day At Hapuna Beach

Have a chill and relaxed afternoon at Hapuna beach, located on the Kohala coast.

Enjoy a swim in the clear blue waters and sunbathe away on the white sandy beaches.

The beach is about half a mile long and quite popular. Note that the parking slots are paid for.

Take a trip to Waipi’o Valley

Waipi’o Valley visit
Waipi’o Valley

Before you call it a day, drive to northern Hamakua Coast to the heritage-rich Waipi’o valley.

The valley is a cultural site as it was the childhood home of Kamehameha I.

You will encounter taro fields, dramatic cliffs, a river, and a waterfall during the drive there.

For safety purposes, you will view the valley from a designated viewpoint.

Day 4-5: Maui

Maui is the second-largest island in Hawaii and arguably the best one.

Maluaka Beach in Maui is perfect for swimming
Maluaka Beach, Maui

Also referred to as “The Valley Isle,” Maui is popular for its amazing beaches, heavy Hawaiian culture, and the sacred Iao Valley. You will spend two days on this island.

How To Get to Maui From Big Island

There are several ways to get to Maui from Big Island, depending on your budget and available time.

These include a train, taxi, bus, or train.

Maui 4-day itinerary guide
Maui beaches

The most economical and convenient method is by flying, in which case you will land at Kahului Airport (OGG).

Where To Stay



Day 4

Wake up ready and pumped for a day filled with adventure and fun on the beautiful island of Maui.

Pack some lunch to snack on as you visit the places below.

Roadtrip to Hana

Highway 360 is one of the most famous highways, not only for its splendor but also for the scenic views along the road.

Road to Hana Hawaii
Road to Hana

You will enjoy sites such as roadside waterfalls. What’s more, the highway passes through lush forests, so it will be breezy as well.

Start the trip from Kahului after landing on the island, and drive the 52 miles. Taking the trip in the morning is perfect because there is minimal congestion then.

Haleakala National Park

On arriving at Hana, go to the Haleakala National Park for a mid-morning walk.

Visit Haleakala National Park
Haleakala National Park, Maui

You will surely be excited to be hiking atop an active volcano. It is an other-worldly experience, to say the least.

The park is massive, as it sits on 30000 acres of land. You are advised to dress warmly as it can get quite chilly up there.

You may want to take some pictures for the gram as the backdrop is amazing for photos.

Visit Turtle Town

Head to the southwestern coast in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve and hang out with turtles.

You can access the place by boat or swimming from nearby beaches.

Hawaii Wildlife Discovery Center Maui

Spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling among turtles as you interact with other marine life, like tropical fish and coral.

Note that the turtles are protected by law, so you are prohibited from harming them in any way.

Attend A Luau

Devote the evening to a Luau, where you get to take part in the tradition of the island.

Here, you will enjoy award-winning dance and music and some tasty traditional cuisines such as pua’a kalua, poki’ahi, and poi.

Many hotels in Maui offer the Luau experience, which is one of the best things, especially for first-time visitors. Also, performers have crazy hula skills.

Day 5

On the last day of your stay in Maui, you will learn about the Hawaiian culture and spend some quality time at the beach.

Expect to have an amazing day!

Visit the Iao Valley State Park

Locatedin Central Maui, the Iao Valley State Park is 4000 acres big, with amazing hiking trails.

Visiting the Iao Valley State Park on Hawaii
Visit the Iao Valley State Park

The trails include the Iao Needle Lookout Trail and the Ethnobotanical Loop. It is also home to the spectacular rock, the Iao Needle.

A morning hike will warm you up for the day’s activities and adventures.

Not only will you enjoy beautiful scenery, but you will also learn a lot about the park’s history. Remember to bring plenty of water for the hike.

Go to the Historic Lahaina Town

Lahaina Town is a hotbed for shopping and sightseeing.

You will easily find Hawaiian souvenirs and crafts in the shops here. Rich with history, the town has several historic buildings, such as the Lahaina Fort and the Baldwin Home Museum.

It was once a center for the whaling industry. You can do a self-guided tour along the Lahaina Historic Trail. Have lunch here before heading out to the next location.

Visit Honolua Bay

Honolua Bay in Maui
Honolua Bay

The Honolua Bay is a marine preserve located on the west side of Maui.

It is a hub for marine life, such as dolphins and turtles. The waters, which are clear and turquoise, are also great for surfing.

Diving and snorkeling are other fun activities that you can take part in.

Relax at Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali beach is 3 miles off the island’s northwest coast. It is the perfect place to spend late afternoon into the evening.

You will catch sight of many marine animals as you surf and sunbathe, including whales.

Finish the day on a high by taking in the sunset cliff-diving spectacle at Puu Kekaa.

Day 6: Lanai

Lanai is the smallest island in Hawaii and so a day on the island is enough.

It is an enticing island, especially for people who don’t like crowds or crave some privacy. It offers serenity and adventure in equal measures.

Getting to Lanai from Maui

There are no direct flights to Lanai. Luckily, the island is only nine miles from Maui.

Lanai island Hawaii
Lanai island

Board an Expeditions Ferry at Lahaina Harbor in Maui and alight at the Manele Harbor in Lanai. The journey is roughly an hour long.

Where to Stay

Visit The Garden of The Gods

Take a morning stroll at the garden of the gods, or as the locals call it, Keahiakawelo.

Catch an amazing view of Lanai and the Pacific Ocean from here.

You would be amazed to learn that there is not a single living plant on this site despite it being called a garden.

Instead, it is a red-dusted landscape with unique rock formations. The giant rocks here have formed over thousands of years.

Visit Lanai Cat Sanctuary

If you are a cat lover, a visit to the Lanai cat sanctuary is a must!

The non-profit establishment is home to over 600 felines of different sizes and shapes.

The center prides itself on rescuing cats and taking care of them. The sanctuary is open to the public and survives on donations.

Lanai Hawaii Island
Lanai beach

It also allows visitors to adopt cats if they prove their ability to take good care of the felines.

Go to Lanai City

Lanai City is a serene place in which to spend your afternoon.

There are shops, restaurants,  and galleries. The city is small enough to explore in an hour.

While here, visit the Lanai Culture and Heritage Center to learn more about the town’s culture and history. For lunch, go to Blue Ginger Café for local delicacies.

Visit the Manele Golf Course

You want to spend an hour or two at Manele playing golf on a world-class golf course.

Located on the island’s southern coast, the golf course was designed by golfer Jack Nicklaus.

It is a perfect challenge to take up with your travel buddies.

Besides, you will be surrounded by amazing views:

  • the Pacific
  • lush greenery
  • ocean cliffs
  • and a show of whales

Go to the Hulopoe Bay

End the day in style by spending the evening in the best snorkeling spot on the island, Hulupoe Bay.

Swim in the calm waters and lay on the warm sandy beach.

If you go during winter, you will be lucky enough to catch sight of spinner dolphins and humpback whales.

Other marine animals that you are unlikely to miss include starfish, sea cucumbers, limpets, and the barber pole shrimp.  

Final Thoughts

Hawaii is the perfect place to escape life’s everyday hustle and bustle.

It is made up of several islands within one, so there are many places to visit and things to do.

We hope this Hawaii 6-day itinerary helps you plan for your trip and have the time of your life.

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